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Digestive Health

Your Questions Answered

My dog has a digestive upset. What can I do?

If your dog has had a soft or liquid stool don’t panic but follow these useful steps:

  • Step 1 – Look at the poo. Not very pleasant but it can tell you some useful information your vet is likely to ask about. Can you see blood? Worms? Is the poo in a puddle or soft but formed? Check out our handy Poop Points chart to help you decide.
  • Step 2 – Look at your dog. Are they bright and playful? Are they eating as normal? Has there been any vomiting? Pay close attention to your dog’s behaviour if they are showing signs of a digestive upset.
  • Step 3 – If your dog is bright, playful and eating as normal then start treatment by switching them onto a bland diet. This diet may be a commercial diet provided by your veterinarian or a homemade diet of boiled chicken or turkey and rice. Ensure there is always fresh water available. Tummy upsets cause your dog to lose a lot of fluid in their faeces. To prevent them from becoming dehydrated it is important that they drink to replenish these losses.
  • Step 4 – Start giving them Pro-Kolin+ which can be purchased from your vet. The live bacteria in the paste will act immediately to rebalance the microflora in your pet’s intestines. Dogs with digestive upsets will have an imbalance in their good and bad intestinal bacteria. Pro-Kolin+ also contains kaolin clay, traditionally used to help in cases of digestive upset. Kaolin binds excess fluid in the intestinal tract firming faeces; it also acts to bind bacterial toxins.
When do I call my vet?

If you are concerned it is always a good idea to call your local veterinary clinic. A vet or veterinary nurse will be happy to advise you on the best course of action. They may recommend you treat your animal at home with a bland diet and Pro-Kolin+. Or they may advise your pet is brought into the practice to have a full clinical examination.

What will my vet want to know? Be prepared for your consultation...

The information you provide will help your vet to assess your dog’s condition. Since your pet can not speak for themselves it is important you can provide a full picture of your animal’s health. Below are some common questions your vet may ask...

  • When did their upset tummy start? When did your pet last pass a normal stool?
  • How is their appetite and thirst?
  • Has your dog been bright and alert or tired and withdrawn?
  • Has there been any vomiting?
  • How would you describe their poo – Urgent need to go? Large volume? Frequency? Colour? Blood? Mucus? Worms?
  • Has your dog recently had access to a bin or been found eating rubbish in the park? Have they eaten anything that could be toxic or that could get stuck in the intestines, such as a tennis ball?
  • Has your pet suffered from digestive upsets before? If so, be ready to give some details. Diagnosis and treatment plans will be different for acute (short term) upsets and chronic (long term) upsets.
How can I help to prevent digestive upsets?

It is not always possible to prevent digestive upsets, but follow these tips to help reduce future problems.

  • When changing your dog’s diet do it gradually over a week, each day adding a little more of the new food into the old food.
  • Keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date. This is especially important in young puppies. Bring your new pup to your vet as early as possible for a health check and to ensure they have had all the necessary vaccinations.
  • Regular worming treatments will also reduce the risk of parasites causing diarrhoea. Your vet can advise you on an effective parasite prevention schedule.
  • Stress from kennelling, travel, re-homing or having a course of antibiotics cause changes in the intestinal microflora and can increase the risk of diarrhoea. Giving probiotics, such as Synbiotic D-C, can help to maintain this balance and minimise the risk of a digestive upset.
  • When out and about with your dog do not allow them to eat rubbish or other dogs’ faeces and if possible bring a supply of fresh drinking water with you.


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